Health

Diabetes type 2: The 25p tea that can improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar

Type 2 diabetes would be hassle-free were it not for the threat of rising blood sugar levels. Blood sugar - the main type of sugar found in blood - is responsible for supplying nutrients to the body's organs, muscles and nervous system. If you have too much blood sugar in your body, it can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs, hiking your risk of heart disease and other life-threatening complications.

Insulin is a hormone responsible for stabilising blood sugar levels but if you have type 2 diabetes, your cells do not respond properly to insulin.

This is known as insulin resistance; a dysfunction that causes blood sugar levels to rise inexorably.

If you have type 2 diabetes, you must find alternative ways to improve your insulin sensitivity.

Improving your diet is integral to this effort and certain items have been proven to enhance insulin sensitivity.

One widely championed remedy is green tea, which uses the processed tea leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant.

Several studies have found that drinking green tea can increase insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar.

For example, an analysis of 17 studies investigated the effects of green tea on blood sugar and insulin sensitivity.

It found that drinking green tea significantly reduced fasting blood sugar and increased insulin sensitivity.

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These beneficial effects of green tea could be due to its powerful antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which many studies have found to increase insulin sensitivity.

General lifestyle tips to improve insulin sensivity

To optimise the benefits of drinking green tea, it is important to commit to an overall healthy lifestyle.

According to Diabetes.co.uk, you should choose foods with higher fibre and a lower GI and glycemic load to help improve insulin sensitivity.

The glycaemic index (GI) is a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates - it shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar (glucose) level when that food is eaten on its own.


Low or medium GI foods are broken down more slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels over time.

They include:

Some fruit and vegetablesPulsesWholegrain foods, such as porridge oats.

Exercising regularly also has a potent effect on insulin sensitivity.

According to Diabetes.co.uk, any type of physical exercise has the potential to make your insulin more efficient.


"Combining aerobic activities with resistance training has been shown to be an effective way to increase insulin sensitivity," says the health body.

It adds: "As well as performing physical activity, losing excess body fat can help to improve insulin sensitivity."

Type 2 diabetes - how do I know if I have it?

Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising - this is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

Peeing more than usual, particularly at nightFeeling thirsty all the timeFeeling very tiredLosing weight without trying toItching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrushCuts or wounds taking longer to healBlurred vision.

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